It’s the topic on everyone’s mind right now: COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus. America is facing a pandemic unlike anything we’ve seen in generations. While it may seem to some that the country has ground to a halt, there are a number of brave Americans still hard at work, ensuring we all have access to necessities like food and healthcare.
Watch any news program and you’ll likely see a callout thanking those on the front lines for serving their communities amidst the uncertainty of a global pandemic. Most often they’re speaking of doctors and nurses. Sometimes you’ll also hear a thank you for grocery store employees. We certainly are grateful for these selfless individuals, and want to show our appreciation, but we rarely get to see the rest of the picture.
The truth is that there are a number of industries that have been labeled as “essential.” These essential businesses moving forward during a time of need. Their people are still hard at work, sometimes even working extra hours at great personal danger for contracting the virus. We want to take a moment to thank these unsung heroes who are pitching in to ensure we all can make it through this crisis with as much normalcy as possible, under the circumstances.
While we all know that grocery stores are still open during the pandemic, we also need to consider the supply chain that keeps essential goods on the shelves, as much as possible. Without America’s trucking industry, we’d be completely out of food, medicine, and other necessities. Fortunately, truckers are on the job and on the roads.
Our truckers are vital to the survival of the country. In addition to delivering groceries, they’re moving medical equipment and that all-important personal protective equipment (PPE) that hospitals are clamoring for. They’re also transporting the paper goods and cleaning supplies we all need to keep our homes safe and clean.
Unfortunately, our nation’s network of truckers are facing some novel difficulties of their own. In many areas truck stops and restaurants have been shut down. This makes it difficult for long haul truckers to find meals when they’re used to just stopping for a quick bite on the road. As these hardworking men and women don’t have sinks available for handwashing, they rely on hand sanitizer to protect themselves— ask anyone who’s tried to pick up a bottle of that lately just how easy it is to come by.
Business is booming for delivery drivers. Since we’re all stuck at home and trying to maintain social distance, more people than ever are ordering groceries online and getting their food and other necessities delivered to their doorstep. And that’s not to mention all the online shopping we’re doing while we can’t browse our favorite local boutiques.
Companies like Shipt, Instacart, and DoorDash are growing their workforce by leaps and bounds. Online retailers are selling out of all sorts of products, leading to more deliveries for USPS, FedEx, and UPS (not to mention Amazon’s own fleet of Prime-branded delivery vans). And in some places, like NYC, they’re even pulling in delivery drivers from other industries.
We owe these dedicated delivery drivers our gratitude, and if you’re receiving packages, why not give your driver a thank you in the form of an extra tip? Better yetr, offer one of those extra bottles of hand sanitizer you’ve got stored away or maybe some disinfectant wipes for their car.
Law Enforcement & Security
While the good people of America are sheltering in place and avoiding public gatherings, there are those that might be using this pandemic to target empty businesses for looting. There are also scam artists targeting a stressed out and fearful public with fraudulent claims and false promises.
The guy who says he can come to your house to swab you for COVID-19 isn’t really testing you for anything—other than your ability to spot a scam. And those miracle cures and preventative measures that you’ve seen online? They’re often useless, and in some cases, even harmful. There are a number of versions of COVID fraud being perpetrated against innocent people everywhere, so stay aware and informed to avoid falling victim.
In the face of these issues, there is good news: our law enforcement and security personnel are still hard at work, protecting our homes, businesses, and communities from those who would seek to do us harm. As always, we thank the brave men and women who keep us safe, even in the midst of an epidemic.
Plumbing & HVAC
Due to the pandemic, everyone in the family is home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means a lot more wear and tear on your home’s vital systems.The toilet paper shortage may encourage people to flush things they normally wouldn’t, resulting in backups and plumbing issues that require the help of an expert. Your HVAC system may be taxed as well; there are near-record high temps in the South while parts of the North face snow storms, making it essential to have working heating and cooling.
Fortunately, plumbing and HVAC workers are considered essential, so they’re still on the job, ready to help. When the plan to use a sawed-in-half roll of paper towels as makeshift toilet paper backfires, they’re there to fix the pipes. And when your air conditioner breathes its last breath just as temps soar into the 90s, you won’t be stuck with the heat for long. Be sure to give these pros a big thank you if you find you need to call on them. After all, they’re risking exposure and the health of their family members to help you and yours.
Oddly enough, bugs and vermin don’t seem to care about social distancing. Termites, ants, spiders, rodents, and other unwanted guests may be making your home their own. But you don’t have to just live with it until the crisis passes.
Pest control companies across the country are still open for business. They’re taking extra protective measures to ensure they’re not bringing the virus into your home. In many cases, they can even treat problems from the outside, allowing you peace of mind and clearing out any critters that may be bugging you— no pun intended. Keep that appointment for your scheduled pest control visit, and don’t be afraid to call pest control if you find something other than your family is sheltering in your home. Just be sure to thank your pest control tech for their hard work.
Oil & Gas
Yes, we still need the oil and gas industry during an outbreak. And this industry is facing their own troubles, with an oil price war that kicked off just as the virus began to spread. Yet we still need to heat our homes, put gas in our cars and trucks, and manufacture all of those products we use every day.
Travel restrictions and slumping demand are making oil and gas companies tighten their belts even further than the price war would have. Around the world, demand has dropped in a way that can’t be ignored. And yet, these companies continue to provide us with the fuel we need to keep America running.
Telecom & Utilities
So many of us are working from home these days and it’s no wonder telecom and utility companies are seeing an increase in use. When both parents are videoconferencing with their respective workplaces and the children are attending school online, it strains your internet service provider’s bandwidth. Add in the fact that it’s happening in many of the homes on your block and multiply that out into your neighborhood and larger community, and it’s understandable that you may experience connectivity issues.
In addition, consider the extra electricity that’s being consumed in your household as everyone has their favorite devices powered up constantly. Think about the amount of water your home is using with everyone home all the time. And don’t forget all those calls made to friends and loved ones who we can’t see in person.
It’s clear that telecom and utilities are certainly essential to American life, perhaps now more than ever. Fortunately, the good folks at your local companies are hard at work, ensuring you have the power, water, and connections you need. And if something should go wrong or need repairs, you can be sure they’ll have technicians on the road and ready to fix the problem ASAP.
Here at Azuga, we regularly support many of these essential industries with GPS fleet tracking and telematics data. We wish we could thank each and every one of the men and women who are hard at work to keep us all safe, healthy, and comfortable. We also want to thank those in “non-essential”, but still important, industries for doing their part to help slow the spread of this disease. Together, we will get through this difficult time and get back on the road.